I just returned from a seminar hosted by the Office of Faculty Affairs at my workplace (University of Massachusetts Medical School) entitled, “Team Science: The New Normal”. It was led by Dr. Robert Milner, Associate Vice Provost for Faculty Development. Along with his role in administration, Dr. Milner’s research background and focus is in neuroscience.
The reason I’m writing this post is twofold. First, it was my first real formal attempt at utilizing the things I learned reading Mike Rohde’s book, The Sketchnote Handbook (and watching the accompanying DVD). I’ve also worked through Sunni Brown’s online course on visual note taking and read all three of Dan Roam’s books on using pictures in the practice of problem solving. If you find that you’re looking for a new, different, and I’d attest, better, way to think and process and take notes, you might want to give these leading folks in the field a look see. So really, my first reason for writing this post is to show off my new skill.
The second reason is because the seminar had a slant towards junior faculty, those early in their careers who are trying to find their way, make connections, and both raise awareness of and gain recognition for the work that they do. As I took my notes, I couldn’t help but think of how much of what Dr. Milner was sharing about team science, as it applies to junior faculty, sounded so much like what we talk about when we’re trying to figure out how to be successful as embedded librarians and/or informationists.
- How do you find collaborators?
- How do you get invited to be on a team?
- How do you weigh out your contributions?
- How do you not get lost in the work of others?
These are exactly the same questions we’re asking! And the answers shared were similar, too.
- Tap into your networks,
- Be known for what you do,
- And bottom line, learn how to communicate well.
I went to this session, hoping I’d find a way to better articulate how informationists fit on research teams. Happily, I came away with one more bit of proof that we’re really not that different from scientists at all. I’m going to remember this as I continue to do my work and make my way in this “New Normal”.